At Jump we've got big plans for 2015 starting with our #365DaysofPlay! As you may have already noticed we're posting an active play idea every day – and we will be for the entire year - that is all about inspiring families to find creative ways to build play into our busy lives. Look for the #365DaysofPlay hashtag on our Facebook and Twitter pages to see what we've come up with so far. And as we know you're nothing if not ingenious when it comes to helping your kids get their beans out so we'd love your help (more on this at the end)! At Jump we fundamentally believe that sport (and in particular developmental gymnastics) can provide amazing opportunities to foster self-confidence, self-esteem and body awareness in young children. And we are passionate about providing programs that allow kids free exploration and self-discovery in a positive, challenging and non-competitive environment.
However, experts agree that children not only need access to high quality gross motor development programs that are developmentally sound (like Jump!) but also, and perhaps more importantly, encouragement to participate in as much unstructured active play as possible.
“Young children need active play to develop properly and to help ensure life-long health. Physical activity should begin as soon as possible and remain steady throughout each day. Encourage them to work on many skills in a variety of safe, play environments.” - Canadian Sport for Life
It is the linking of fundamental movement skills (running, kicking, jumping, throwing, catching, etc.) through play that is the cornerstone of the Active Start phase of athlete development. Once kids have been introduced to movement concepts, they need as many opportunities as possible to explore them and eventually master them. Active free play is the ideal environment for this to happen.
This is why we have launched #365DaysofPlay – to help and encourage families to find time to play everyday in 2015. Who knows, you might just be helping to shape the next Canadian Gold Medalist while you do! And if you're one of the 91% of BC parents who are planning to make physical activity a priority for their children this year (according to Participaction) then we're here to help!
Our #365DaysofPlay ideas come from Jen and our coaches, local play experts such as Traci Costa the founder of Peekaboo Beans, Nathan Rehorick who does all the youth programming at The Hive, and Jennae Gedeon, the Physical Literacy and Nature Exploration Coordinator from Little Mountain Neighbourhood House, and, we're hoping, from you! What's your favourite, creative way to keep your little ones active on a daily basis? Maybe you play sock basketball when you're sorting the laundry or practice your puddle jumping on rainy days? Share your ideas with us for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate from Raspberry Kids and if we use one of your ideas you'll also be entered in a draw for a Jump Play Pass (valued at $50). It's easy to send us your play tip via this handy form! You've got from now 'til February 27th to send along your ideas and who knows, if this is a success we may do it again!
Here's to #365DaysofPlay! We hope our tips are inspiring you to keep the whole family active!